A valuable introduction to the central issues in the sociology of the arts, this work draws on sociology, art history, feminism, and literary and media studies, to explain the social nature of the arts, their production, distribution, and reception. This second edition is the result of the author’s chapter-by-chapter review and updating, taking into account not only her own re-thinking on these issues but also the work that has been done in cultural studies and the sociology of the arts since the first edition appeared in 1984. Wolff considers changes in sociology, literary studies, and cultural studies, and their implications for the project of the sociology of art: the relevance of post structuralist theory for an understanding of the author/artist; and the current, and perhaps unfounded, rejection of the concept of ideology. The author also assesses the question of cultural politics in relation to debates about postmodernism, as well as the matter of identity politics with regard to gender and ethnicity. Containing a wealth of information about both past and present thinking on the sociology of art, this book will be of particular interest both to students of the arts and students of sociology. Janet Wolff is Professor of Art History/Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester. She is the author of several books on the sociology of art, including Aesthetics and the sociology of Art and Feminine Sentences: Essays on Women and Culture.